Special Saturday Fun!

 We had a really fun day yesterday! Ben had to work all day (boo) so he took us all out to breakfast before he had to leave so we could spend some time together. He’s had an unusually busy week so we treasure our moments as a family!

After he left, my mom and stepdad stopped by and we did a table swap. They took our old dining room table and we got a really nice wooden card table to use in the basement. We are both happy with our trade! Since the garage was open, the kiddos took advantage of that to pull out their bikes. They have been wanting to ride them but during the week, it’s too busy traffic wise around here for them to ride safely. We found out that an early Saturday morning is perfect for riding!

Such a happy pink girl:)

Mr Z!

Samuel’s tires had gotten low through the summer or storage but one of the best investments we’ve made is a bicycle pump so we used it and he was a happy camper! We used to have kids lined up at our door asking to have balls and bicycle tires pumped up:)

I finally had to call it quits because it was really chilly out!! We hung out for awhile in the morning before Grandma (B’s mom) came to pick us up for a really fun afternoon at the farm!

First we got to jump on hay bales. And by we, I totally mean the kids, not the adults! Eliana climbed a little bit but she was too excited to go ride the Banana Bus so she waited patiently.

The boys cousins were there, too! They are all very close in age so they have a lot of fun together. This is B., the oldest of the bunch. He slid into the picture just in time!

We rode on the Banana Bus (pictures coming later), petted animals, slid down slides, rode peddle carts and finally took a hay ride! Eliana gave us this big smile every
time we took a picture:)

I kept begging Samuel to go sit next to them so I could get a good picture of the three of them. This was the best of the bunch. He wouldn’t cooperate very well so I was disappointed not to have more great shots out of the 9 I took….Ah, kids!

We had such a good time! Eliana fell sound asleep on the way home and we all washed off our farm dust with warm showers, got in our pjs, had dinner and I tucked the crew in bed early. It was definitely a happy day for the Trio!

And thanks so much for taking a minute to leave me a comment earlier this week! I really enjoy hearing from you and it always makes my day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 I always feel terrible when I neglect my bloggy blog but I have been sick and not feeling like doing too much! I was fighting a cold for several days and in the middle of last week, it took over! I was pretty miserable for a few days with an aching ear/head and body, crazy congestion and a cough.

Now I’m left with crazy congestion, a cough and no voice! But I am so glad I felt well enough to go out with my precious family today.

Here was our Friday night family fun:) Eating homemade pizza and playing Scrabble Junior!

This morning the boys brought special gifts to me when I was still in bed! They both made books at school and they were SO cute! I will be saving them forever.

Samuel’s was a flip book with several reasons why he loves me. A few reasons were that I help him with his homework, I snuggle with him and give him kisses and hugs at nighttime. He drew really great pictures!

Zakkai’s was a very cute fill in the blank book. According to Zakkai, I am 60 inches tall (I claim my 3 extra inches!!), weigh 10 pounds, have tan hair, love pizza and hate yogurt (true!) and love to spend time outside with him. He had a really cute picture of the two of us sitting in chairs facing each other. Z was saying, “Let’s talk.” and I was saying, “Yeah, let’s talk.” So cute!

You know, I often lamblast myself on my failings as a mother. I am not patient enough, I don’t look them in the eye enough when they’re talking, I don’t spend enough one on one time with them, I say “NO” too much, and on and on. It is so easy to see the negative and focus on it.

But then you get a book from your son telling you he loves you because you kiss him when you tuck him in and help him with his homework and that’s enough for him. He still loves me, despite my shortcomings and failings. They still see good in me and want me, ME, to be their mother, even though I don’t always do it right.

Wow. It’s humbling and gracious and amazing! I love these kiddos SO much. Eliana fell asleep in my arms when we got home from lunch and I held her and just thanked God for even that simple gift; holding my sweet baby girl. I pray this year I can learn to be an even better mother. One who cheers on my children, encourages them and builds them up, shows them how very important they are, one who is a little more patient, a little more quick to say “yes” instead of “no”, one who models for them the love of Jesus.

This morning on the way to church, Zakkai said, “Hey! I have a great idea! How about we listen to Mommy every Mother’s Day?!” haha!
And to my own Mama, I already told you in the card what you mean to me but let me say it again. You have cheered me on, encouraged me, lifted me up when I needed help, prayed for me, battled with me and for me and have been such a constant love in my life and have shown me Jesus. I love you SO much.

To my Grandma: when I was little, you were my sweet, soft Grandma who spoiled me with sleepovers, McDonald’s hamburgers, Snicker’s ice cream bars, trips to the cabin and when I grew up you became my friend. You pray for me, encourage me, share your wisdom with me and love me unconditionally. Thank you! I love you!

And to Ben’s mom: You gave me your son. A man you raised to love God. A son you prayed over and taught so many values and wonderful things to. He often remembers things that you told him over and over; things he wants to pass down to our children. You also took me in as your daughter with no hesitation. You have loved me, faults and all, over these years and I am so thankful for our relationship! I love you!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Grandma Weekend and Fun Finds!

We’ll be back with more pictured posts tomorrow.

And by “we”, I mean me. 🙂

Today we had a leisurely breakfast of scrambled eggs and apple streusel muffins and then played a little Angry Birds while trying to make up our minds about what to do for the day.

Okay, I didn’t play angry birds; I was too busy doing the planning but the boys charmed their Grandma into playing:) It doesn’t take much for them to charm her.

And I’m pretty sure she would agree!

We decided to visit the Chicago Premium Outlets, which we’d never been to before. They were about 40 minutes away from us (longer if you count the gas stop and the bathroom stop for a certain son of ours who threatened to pee his pants.)

We had fun browsing through some stores and eating a little (overpriced) lunch! My favorite stop of the day?

The Vera Bradley store!! I used to think her stuff was really “old lady-ish” (I”m sorry, Gma!) but now there are so many bright, fun fabrics and so many options of things to buy. I can never afford anything from there BUT a good friend of mine told me a very fun secret!

If you sign up with their store, you get a $20 giftcard during your birthday month to spend on whatever you want. So if you want a $20 bag (if there were even such a thing!), then you can get it for free.

On top of that,they were having a 20% off sale! My lucky day:) I found a wonderful bag for traveling back in the clearance section and walked away with a $98 bag for $25!! Or $0, thanks to some birthday money:)

We stopped for ice cream cones on the way home and relaxed this afternoon. It’s been a really fun weekend as we soak up Grandma-time.

Now off to bed!

A Monday List

It’s good to have lists on Mondays, don’t you think? I do! Here’s my list for today about everything and nothing:)

*Today was B’s first day of his new teaching job! He had a few frustrating things go wrong but other than that is very thankful for the new experience this will bring to his CV. He is teaching 2 classes of Old Testament back to back on MWF. I am so thankful for all of his hard work to support our family as well as working to finish his dissertation!

*The kiddos and I walked back and forth to school 8 times today. I didn’t have any cash to pay for lunch supervision so S came home for lunch, which is nice! We get good exercise:)

*Eliana was snotty and snuffly today, grouchy but still sweet:) I put her in the Moby for walk #5&6 and she fell sound asleep. So precious!

*Our neighbors across from us play Yahtzee at least 5 times a week. Sometimes when I hear that rattling of the dice against the red plastic cup, I feel a sudden urge to knock on their door and ask them if I can join in:) Or at the very least, I feel like cheering for them from over here when they hoot an’ holler over their Yahtzees!

*It was a beautiful day today! We’ve had the air conditioning off for several days to get fresh air and save $ and usually there is a point in the afternoon where I watch the thermostat climb slowly and think, “I’m not going to make it! Must turn air on…” and then before I know it, we pass the hottest point of the day and the gentle breeze flows in and it’s so nice and peaceful. I love hearing the chirping bugs outside. And the Yahtzee game across the yard.

*Been trying to use my cast iron skillet more often. They say food only gets better the more you use it and it’s supposed to last a lifetime or more with good care! We had fish tonight that was deeeelicious! And couscous. We haven’t had it in awhile but it was a smash hit with the boys:)

*I just folded up this week’s loads of laundry and I washed 15 pairs of Zakkai’s underwear. 15. I didn’t even know he had that many! He has been “trying” to stay dry at nighttime. He makes it about every 3rd night. The other nights we change underwear at least twice. Last night he stayed dry! That means tonight….

*The new change in our schedules with school starting up has renewed my love for cooking and baking! I was feeling a bit like a slacker this summer and did not enjoy menu planning or cooking so it feels great to enjoy it again! Can’t wait for the crisp air that means soups, crock pot meals and apple picking!

*I am about to start quilting my quilt! Woohoo! It’s only been 3 years since I started it but I am finally in the final stages. Who knows how long this will take but my sister and I have a pact to finish the quilts within a year or else! It’s time to start new projects (and there are many waiting in the wings) and also to see this labor of love gracing our bed!

I want to wish a VERY happy birthday to my special Grandma! I will not say how old she is because she wants to be in denial about it and that is a-okay with me! I like to be in denial, too:)

I love you, Grandma, and wish with all of my heart that I could’ve been there tonight celebrating you with the family that means so much to you. You are so special and have given your family so many years of laughter, joy and love. Happy Birthday!
And finally, Missy has learned a couple of new skills and is very proud of herself as you will see:)